How to Spring Clean Your Kitchen

March 8, 2023 General /Family

When most people think of spring-cleaning, they think of going through closets and deep cleaning neglected areas in their home. But there’s another type of spring-cleaning that can help your family’s health (and your sanity) and it’s centered around the most used area of your house: the kitchen. Let’s go through each area of your kitchen and consider not only the healthfulness of what you have, but guidelines for storage and food safety.


Stock up on nutritious snack foods such as nuts and seeds, whole grain items like popcorn and whole grain crackers, baked chips and dried fruit.

STORAGE: Keep your pantry dry and cool. Snacks like crackers generally last 3 months, shelled nuts 6 months and unshelled 3 months. If you don’t eat nuts very often, store them in the refrigerator. Dried fruit can keep up to 6 months and un-popped popcorn up to 2 years.


When used often, consider buying reduced or low sodium canned products. Otherwise, rinse items in water to decrease sodium. Healthful canned options include beans (black, pinto and garbanzo), tomatoes, tuna, salmon, and pumpkin.

STORAGE: Try to use canned goods within one year of purchasing but also check “use-by” dates. Toss anything that has expired. Never use infant formula after its “use-by” date.


Make sure you have dried beans on hand, which make a satisfying and inexpensive main dish or side. When it comes to grains, aim for at least half “whole grains” including brown rice, oats, whole-wheat pasta, quinoa, and barley.

STORAGE: Dried beans and pasta generally last a year, brown rice 6 months and white rice 2 years. After packages are opened, store in airtight containers.


Go for breads with whole grain as the first ingredient and at least 2g of fiber per serving. Aim for cereals that have at least 3g of fiber and 6g or less of added sugar per one ounce serving.

STORAGE: Most bread without preservatives will last in the fridge for 2-3 weeks, but only a few days on the kitchen counter. Unopened cereals can be stored in the pantry for about a year but after opening eat within 2-3 months.


Check dates on spices and organize them. When it comes to baked goods, consider using whole-wheat flour and oats to increase the nutritional value of muffins, pancakes and waffles.

STORAGE: Store spices in a cool, dry place—they don’t spoil but do lose flavor over time. Flour can be stored in the pantry for a year, while whole wheat flour keeps better in the fridge (6-8 months).


Choose low fat dairy products like milk and yogurt and lean deli meats like turkey and ham. When choosing juice, make sure the label says “100% juice”. Packaged, opened fruits should be eaten within 5 days. For fresh fruits and veggies, the fresher you eat them, the healthier they are—most should be eaten within 2-5 days. Thick-skinned produce like apples, oranges, radishes, and turnips will last a few weeks in the fridge.

STORAGE: Keep the temperature of your refrigerator at 40°F or below. Clean the inside of your fridge with warm soapy water, then rinse with clean water. Clean up blood spills with an antibacterial wipe or a weak bleach solution of ½ teaspoon bleach to 2 cups water. Check labels for expiration dates. Store poultry, ground meat and uncooked sausage in the fridge for 1-2 days and beef, veal, pork, and lamb for 3-5 days. Freeze what you don’t use in time. Eggs can be stored for 3-5 weeks after purchasing.


When going through your freezer, ask yourself if you rely heavily on convenience items. Are they nutritious? High in sodium? Brainstorm meals you could make yourself and freeze like bean burritos, muffins, waffles and various dinner meals. This also saves you money!

STORAGE: Keep the temperature of your freezer at zero degrees or below. Although food will not spoil when frozen, over time it can lose its quality and nutritional value. Make sure to label with the date and use the oldest foods first.


What do dates on food labels actually mean?


SUGAR: Reduce added sugar when possible, which is listed in the ingredients. Natural sugars found in milk, yogurt and fruit juice will also be listed on the label. Four grams of sugar is equal to one teaspoon.

SODIUM: Choose more whole natural foods like lean meats, fruits and vegetables but when choosing other products, aim for sodium that has less than 20% of the Daily Value.

Side Lying Hold

Side-Lying Hold

  1. For the right breast, lie on your right side with your baby facing you.
  2. Pull your baby close. Your baby’s mouth should be level with your nipple.
  3. In this position, you can cradle your baby’s back with your left arm and support yourself with your right arm and/or pillows.
  4. Keep loose clothing and bedding away from your baby.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Cross Cradle Hold

Cross-Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, use your left arm to hold your baby’s head at your right breast and baby’s body toward your left side. A pillow across your lap can help support your left arm.
  2. Gently place your left hand behind your baby’s ears and neck, with your thumb and index finger behind each ear and your palm between baby’s shoulder blades. Turn your baby’s body toward yours so your tummies are touching.
  3. Hold your breast as if you are squeezing a sandwich. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  4. As your baby’s mouth opens, push gently with your left palm on baby’s head to help them latch on. Make sure you keep your fingers out of the way.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Football Hold

Clutch or “Football” Hold

  1. For the right breast, hold your baby level, facing up, at your right side.
  2. Put your baby’s head near your right nipple and support their back and legs under your right arm.
  3. Hold the base of your baby’s head with your right palm. A pillow underneath your right arm can help support your baby’s weight.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Bring baby to you instead.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Breastfeeding Holds

Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, cradle your baby with your right arm. Your baby will be on their left side across your lap, facing you at nipple level.
  2. Your baby’s head will rest on your right forearm with your baby’s back along your inner arm and palm.
  3. Turn your baby’s tummy toward your tummy. Your left hand is free to support your breast, if needed. Pillows can help support your arm and elbow.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Breastfeeding Holds

Laid-Back Hold

  1. Lean back on a pillow with your baby’s tummy touching yours and their head at breast level. Some moms find that sitting up nearly straight works well. Others prefer to lean back and lie almost flat.
  2. You can place your baby’s cheek near your breast, or you may want to use one hand to hold your breast near your baby. It’s up to you and what you think feels best.
  3. Your baby will naturally find your nipple, latch, and begin to suckle.

This hold is useful when: